History Department Staff

For more information about the Subject curriculum, please contact: Mr J Shannon the Curriculum Leader.

  • Mr J Shannon - Curriculum Leader
  • Mr M Barrett 
  • Mrs J Singleton De Carranza
  • Mr A Himsworth
  • Miss H Blenkinship
  • Mr J Morgan (Assistant Head Teacher: Curriculum)
  • Mr S Riley (Head of Farington)
  • Mrs A Wilson (Deputy Head:Pastoral Care, Guidance & Support)

Curriculum Intent

History at Balshaw’s aims to bring students into a rich dialogue with the past and the traditions of historical enquiry. The past and changing accounts of the past have shaped the identities of diverse people, groups and nations. Through the study of History, students come to understand their place in the world, and in the long story of human development. The study of History challenges students to make sense of the striking similarities and vast differences in human experiences across time and place. Moreover, we aim to equip students with the knowledge of how historians and others construct accounts about the past, building on and challenging or refining the work of others. Students learn how argument and debate can be underpinned by shared principles of enquiry, and how this can drive and test new knowledge and insight about shared pasts.


Year 7

How successfully did Medieval monarchs respond to the challenges
they faced and establish authoritarian rule by the 16th Century?

How was Britain shaped by invasion and migration before 1066?
Is Marc Morris right about the significance of the Norman Conquest?
Which Medieval monarch was the most effective at establishing their authority?
How significant was the Medieval Church?
What were Medieval peasants lives really like?
How successfully did the Tudor dynasty re-establish the authority of the monarchy?


Year 8

How successfully have people been able to challenge
authoritarian rule in Britain and around the world?

How far was life in England turned upside down during the English Civil War?
How did the Glorious Revolution give Parliament power over a whole United Kingdom?
How similar was power and authority in Africa to power and authority in Europe?
How did protest contribute to a more Democratic Britain?
How far did the Industrial Revolution transform life for ordinary people?


Year 9

What happened when Democracy clashed with autocracy
in the 20th Century?

What can the story of Jack the Ripper tell us about life in Victorian London?
How far was WWI a horror of gas, industrialised slaughter & appalling human suffering?

How did the Nazi party kill Democracy in Germany?

How did the Nazi regime impact Germany and the wider world?

Why did Authoritarian and Democratic ideologies collide following WWII?


At KS4 we follow the AQA 9-1 GCSE History specification. Students sit Paper 1 and Paper 2 at the end of Year 11 and there is no coursework. Below is an overview of what we study and when:

Year 10

Paper 2 Shaping the Nation

Section A: Thematic Studies
Britain: Health and the People: c1000 to the present day:

  • Part one: Medicine stands still;
  • Part two: The Beginnings of Change
  • Part three: A revolution in Medicine
  • Part four: Modern Medicine

Section B: British Depth Study
Elizabethan England:

  • Part One: Elizabeth’s Court and Parliament
  • Part two: Life in Elizabethan times 
  • Part three: Troubles at home and abroad 
  • Part four: The Historic Environment


Year 11

Paper 1 Understanding the modern world 

Section B: Wider World Depth Study
Conflict and Tension: The First World War, 1894-1918

  • Part one: The Causes of the First World War
  • Part two: The First World War: Stalemate
  • Part three: Ending the War

Section A: Wider world Period study
America, 1920-1973: Opportunity and Inequality

  • Part one: American people and the ‘Boom’
  • Part two: Bust-Americans’ experiences of the Depression and New Deal
  • Part three: Post-war America